Friday News Round-up: January 16, 2015

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#action2015 digital rally

This is a screenshot of the #action2015 digital rally this morning

This has been an exciting week for people interested in and organizations committed to achieving the MDGs and getting the next round of goals-setting right with the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Yesterday, we saw the launch of Action/2015, a growing global movement of more than 1000 organisations in over 120 countries that will use large-scale mass-mobilization campaigns throughout 2015 to call on our global leaders to take ambitious decisions for our future. The hashtag #action2015 was trending worldwide due to the synchronized efforts of organizations around the world the publicize the event in a “digital rally.” (See the hashtag trending over the past 24 hours.) From the U.S. Department of State to our very own Twitter chat on #SocialDeterminants, thousands of people from around the world shared their thoughts on achieving the MDGs and setting the SDGs.

In our Twitter Chat yesterday, one of the questions asked how sanitation affects the health MDGs.

This photo article from November of last year, “Microfinancing to improve sanitation in Dodoma, Tanzania” illustrates how some organizations are building local capacity to improve sanitation solutions and providing financial services to enable families to build latrines.

On Thursday, we announced the first Campaign Commitment for 2015. The Mifos Initiative is committing to integrate social performance management and poverty measurement tools into its free and open source cloud-based core banking system. The Mifos Initiative joins a global coalition of 56 other Commitment makers working to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Learn more.

On Monday, Martin Ravallion published an article on Vox (“No-one left behind?“) that might have a profound effect on the way that our sector thinks about measuring progress out of poverty. Is it enough to count the numbers under a certain poverty line (be it $1.25/day or $0.50/day) or should we, as Ravallion argues, adopt an additional indicator that assesses the success in raising the consumption floor of the ultra-poor (those living on less than $0.50/day) in order to measure the movement of extreme/ultra poor households out of poverty? In his conclusion, Ravallion explains,

To anticipate one response, it might be argued that progress in lifting the floor is a second-order issue, as long as fewer people live near the floor. That is implicit in the traditional counting methods used to assess progress against poverty. However, proponents of this view must surely take pause when one notes that for a long time, and across countries at very different levels of development, social policies have often claimed that they aim to ensure a minimum level of living above any biological consumption floor required for mere survival.

That same day, The Guardian published “The ultra-poor: a pioneering technique is helping the hardest to reach,” an article by Scott MacMillan at BRAC USA about the Targeting the Ultra-Poor Programme (better known as the graduation model) and help them lift themselves out of poverty in a sustainable way. MacMillan announced, “We’re now ready to open-source that approach.” We salute BRAC for their hard work and well-earned recognition; indeed, they’ve been a favorite topic in our annual State of the Campaign Report, as you can see in “Graduating out of CCTs” and our infographic, “The CCT-Graduation Model Ecosystem”:

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